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  LATEST NEWS FOR DEC 2001

As we enter December, the spirit of Thanksgiving have a greater meaning for all affected by the events of September 11, 2001. In addition, it is hope that the upcoming Christmas holidays will again provide reasons for hope and good-will in our future.

We invite you to discover prominent APA's such as Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Debra Yang and Peggy/Andrew Cherng.


FEATURED ARTISTS & LEADERS

FAREWELL TO MANZANAR
This book was published 30 years ago and 25 years since the film about it was made. The September 11, 2001 tragedy has made the Wakatsuki family story during WWII more resonant because it illustrates what can go wrong in a time of national stress when people seem prone to jump to conclusions along ethnic lines.

"Farewell to Manzanar," the story Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston co-wrote with her husband, James D. Houston, has sold more than a million copies since it was first published in 1973. It is read in schools and colleges nationwide, where it is the standard text on the Japanese internment. The book is not a sermon on political injustice nor an essay on the Constitution.

Jeanne Wakatsuki, born in Inglewood, was 7 years old, the youngest of 10 siblings, when her family was uprooted from their comfortable Santa Monica home. Her family was one of the first families to be shipped to the internment camps and one of the last to be released.

In 2001, 10,000 video copies of this film will be made and sent to California schools and libraries. This John Kory-directed film was restored and relaunch in video form to help educate California students and the general public about the internment.

Backers include Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, Universal Studios, the Civil Liberties Public Education Project of the California State Library and members of the Japanese American community. Universal Studios is underwriting the video project--producing the copies and distributing them to every public school and library in the state; publisher McDougal-Littell is providing 8,500 copies of the book and the teaching guide to be included with the school videos. The Manzanar project is an offshoot of the Commission for One California.

When the book, published by Houghton Mifflin, came out in 1973, it shed light on the often-ignored subject on the Internment Camps. Fifteen years later, in 1988, the U.S. government formally apologized for the internment of some 120,000 Japanese Americans and offered reparations to survivors under the Civil Liberties Act.

Wakatsuki Houston and her husband live in Santa Cruz and have three children. When the couple married in 1957, Wakatsuki Houston says her husband was her "blond samurai"--a man as handsome as a Coca-Cola model and as rugged as a Japanese warrior. "Wanting to marry a blond samurai reveals a lot of my conflicts," she says.

Her self-image suffered because being Japanese American was almost like being a criminal. Her parents treated her as inferior to her brothers in keeping with the prevalent Asian bias against females; segregation on ethnic grounds "added a second layer" to her distress.

Her husband convinced her that the book was a story America should hear.

For more info on Manzanar, click HERE.

DEBRA YANG
This Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Debra W. Yang is the Bush administration's likely choice for U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, center of the nation's most populous federal judicial district.

This 42-year-old former federal prosecutor, would become the first Asian American to serve as U.S. attorney for California's Central Judicial District, which spans seven counties from Orange to San Luis Obispo. The office prosecutes cases such as major drug crimes, financial swindles and civil rights violations.

This Los Angeles native's grandfather emigrated from Canton, China. She graduated from Pitzer College in 1981 and Boston College Law School in 1985. She then worked in two civil law firms--one in Los Angeles and one in Chicago. From 1988 to 1989, she was a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Ronald S. W. Lew in Los Angeles from 1988 to 1989. She spent one year with the high-powered Westside firm of Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman and Machtinger.

In 1990, she joined the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles and spent the next six years prosecuting, among others, kidnappers, securities swindlers and computer hackers. Former Gov. Pete Wilson appointed her to the Municipal Court bench in 1997. When the court system was unified in 2000, she became a Superior Court judge.

She has also been active in the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association (SCCLA) and theAsian American Bar Association. (AABA)

PEGGY AND ANDREW CHERNG
This couple built Panda Restaurant Group from a single Pasadena location to a national powerhouse with 423 outlets in 34 states, with 5,000 employees and about $300 million in annual sales - the largest Chinese restaurant chain in history. Their vision is to have 10,000 stores with 80 new stores this year.

Panda group's business at its outlets in shopping malls and at airports. Despite the Sept 11 tragedy, they anticipate sales growth of 5% to 6% . Andrew Cherng cites the Starbucks coffee chain, which is opening its 5,000th store after 30 years in business.

His latest competition is P.F. Chang's China Bistro chain of restaurants and is launching a chain of cook-to-order fast-service Chinese restaurants named Pei Wei. As a result, Panda already has opened seven Panda Panda cook-to-order fast-service restaurants, similar to Pei Wei, in Southern California.

Panda Express' innovation is, instead of just providing egg rolls, rice and chow mein, Panda Express offers orange-flavored chicken, tofu with black mushrooms, beef with broccoli and many other dishes conceived by Chinese chefs and prepared on site by trained cooks.

In 1966, Andrew attended Baker University, southwest of Kansas City. He has degrees in applied mathematics from Baker and the University of Missouri. It was at Baker also that he met Peggy, who has degrees in electrical engineering and computer science after coming from Hong Kong.

In 1972, Andrew Cherng bought a shuttered coffee shop in east Pasadena and turned it the first Panda Inn. Upon its success, they opened a second site in Glendale.

Panda Express started in 1983, when Donahue Schriber Real Estate (developers of the Glendale Galleria shopping mall) asked Andrew Cherng whether he could adapt the cuisine of his Panda Inn restaurant to a fast-food setting in the mall by adapting recipes originated by his late father, Ming-Tsai Cherng - who was a chef in Shanghai, Taipei, Taiwan and Yokohama, Japan.

With the launch of Panda Express, Peggy Cherng, who had been working as a software developer for McDonnell Douglas and Comtal-3M, as well as raising three daughters, became President and Chief Executive of the family firm.

Today, Panda Express includes eight outlets in Japan and five in Puerto Rico. Panda Restaurant Group also owns five Panda Inn traditional restaurants and nine Hibachi-San Japanese fast-food outlets.

Aside from the Panda Express outlets in Japan, which are franchised, and 62 outlets in the Midwest that are owned in a joint venture with financial backers, all of the other restaurants are owned by the Cherngs. This fact makes Panda one of the largest family-owned restaurant chains in the world.

Expansion is still financed by internal cash flow and it takes $300,000 to open a Panda Express.

Company earns more than 10% pretax on sales, which works out to more than $30 million of the $300 million-plus in revenue this year.

Panda face a decision to sell franchises to independent operators or sell shares to the public to grow larger. Public ownership would allow more control over quality than franchising would.

Another available choice is selling Panda to a big company for a financial windfall.


EVENTS IN HISTORY

IN 1830's
- Chinese workers arrives in Hawaii

IN 1869
- Memphis TN conference of plantation owners proposed substituting Chinese labor for black slaves.

IN 1871
- Nineteen Chinese were massacred in Los Angeles. October 24 marked the worst incident of Anti-Chinese violence in America up to that time.

IN 1879
- the Arizona Weekly Star ran an editorial in 1879 portraying Chinese Americans as "an ignorant, filthy, leprous horde" and "the most pernicious and degraded race on the globe." Chinese workers were attacked in railroad camps and mining towns and driven out of Arizona's mines and railroads.

IN 1908
- Filipinos were greatly recruited by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association as cheap contract labor when the Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907 cut off the Japanese supply.

IN 1909
- Japanese plantation workers in Hawaii go on strike

IN 1912
- Duke Kahanamoku won his first Olympic gold medal and set a world record in the 100-meter free-style and won a silver medal as a participant in the 200-meter relay in Stockholm. He represented the United States in the Olympics for the next 20 years.

IN 1923
- Justice Sutherland, speaking for the Supreme Court in 1923, said that Bhagat Singh Thind and other Asian Indians were aliens ineligible to citizenship because they were not white, as only whites and blacks could become citizens.

IN 1924
- In the Hanapepe Massacre, police attack union headquarters in Hanapepe, HI where 16 sugar plantation workers and 4 policemen are killed.

IN 1947
- Truman grants full pardon to the Japanese Americans who had been convicted for resisting the draft while they and their families were held in concentration camps.

IN 1944
- These 85 interned Japanese Americans were prosecuted and incarcerated because they refused to be drafted into the U.S. military unless their rights as citizens were restored.

IN 1949
- FBI arrests the Hawaii Seven for communist activity. Their fines and jail terms are overturned in January 1958.

IN 1980
- First Philippine Festival of the Arts begins in New York City.

IN 1991
- National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (NAPALC), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization was formed to advance the legal and civil rights of Asian Pacific Americans.

IN 2001
- Maya Lin is honored by the NAACP as someone who has excelled in the face of overwhelming odds.

IN 2001
- Patrick Oliphant's racist cartoon was an offshoot of the recent stand off between the U.S. and China over the U.S. spy plane incident.

      OUR GOALS

The purpose of this section is the following:
OPPORTUNITY
to discover more about our dreams
UNDERSTANDING
our fears and our hopes and
UNCOVERING
invaluable and missing information


APA & MEDIA NEWS

BRUCE LEE FILM
Bruce Lee is long gone--but his image is being digitally resurrected in a $50-million martial arts film tentatively titled "Dragon Warrior." The movie will be the first theatrical feature to re-create a character in a major role through computer technology.

Shincine Communications, a major Korean film production company, got clearance from the estate of the kung fu superstar, who died in 1973 at the age of 32. Lee's widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, and his daughter, Shannon Lee, hold the rights to his name and likeness.

Four years in development, the project will be translated for an English-language production. It will be the company's debut in the U.S. marketplace.

JAPANESE AMERICAN - ONLINE STORIES
The online exhibition of "A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution" at the National Museum of American History (part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.) is completed. Visit the site to learn more about this tragic time in history - the Internment Camps.

JAPANESE HOCKEY PLAYERS
Jamie Storr, one of four players of Japanese heritge in the NHL (i.e. Paul Kariya, Stever Kariya and David Tanabe are the others), shares his heritage with the community's youths. Keiko Storr (his mother), supported and reminded him of his heritage, along with his hockey talents. His eight years with the LA Kings gives him the longest tenure with the team.

NEW APA FILMS
Discover and support newly-released films such as ABCD, American Desi, The Debut and American Adobo. Learn more about these films by clicking HERE.

APA'S ON TRANSITION TEAM
New York's Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg transition committee include the following:

  • Bonnie Wong - Asian Women in Business
  • David C. Chang - Polytechnic University
  • Christopher Kui - AA's for Equality
  • Madeline Lee - New York Foundation

    JET LI AND MEL GIBSON
    "Invincible," a highflying martial arts adventure was the brainchild of international action superstar Jet Li with Oscar winner Mel Gibson serving as an executive producer.

    Alliance Atlantis, Mel Gibson, Bruce Davy's Icon Productions and Li's Qian Yang International produced this film. Calibre, a Canadian-based special-effects studio, created the 150 effects shots used in the film. Hong Kong action coordinator and director Tony Ching oversee the complicated action sequences.

    Billy Zane of "Titanic" fame played a mystical leader named Os who trains four warriors to defeat the Shadowmen, a group of otherworldly evildoers intent on destroying all that is good in the world through a powerful ancient artifact that was long thought to be lost. David Field plays Slate, the charismatic leader of the Shadowmen.

    QUEENSISTAN
    Queesistan is a stretch along Queens Boulevard from Rego Park to Forest Hills to Kew Gardens to Briarwood is a kind of Queensistan. In the local telephone directory, names of restaurants and shops read like a Central Asian map: Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Sogdiana, Beautiful Bukhara.

    An estimated 50,000 Bukharan Jews live in Queens/Queensistan, according to the New York Association for New Americans. They are from the Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

    The term Bukharan refers to all Central Asian Jews, whose history in the region is said to go back 2,500 years, to the period of the Babylonian exile

    THE DEBUT HITS $1M!
    In October 2001, "the Debut" passed $1,000,000 in total domestic box office gross. This represents the amount of money made in ticket sales from Northern California, Virginia Beach, Guam/Saipan, and Southern California since March 2001.

    STEPHEN CHAO RESIGNS
    USA Networks' Cable TV President Chao will resign as president of the media company's cable-television unit, which will be folded into the new TV and film-production division.

    Chao, head of USA Cable since March 2000, oversaw the company's biggest cable-TV channels--USA Network and Sci Fi Channel-and its developing networks.

    USA Entertainment, a new unit formed in July, will assume USA Cable's operations. The move is part of Chief Executive Barry Diller's plan to create an organized group of entertainment, media and electronic-commerce assets.

    Chao worked under Diller in the late 1980s and early 1990s at News Corp.'s Fox TV network. Chao produced shows such as "Cops," "Studs" and "America's Most Wanted."

    APA RELIEF FUND
    Organization of Chinese Americans and Cathay Bank launched their "911 Healing Hands Fund" in response to the September 11th tragedy. The national fund is a joint campaign committed to addressing emergency needs and relief efforts.

    ASIA SOCIETY
    Asia Society - renamed the Asia Society and Museum will reopen after a renovation designed by the architect Bartholomew Voorsanger. It doubles the exhibition space, introduces a courtyard cafe and a multimedia visitors' center, and connects everything with a floating staircase rising through four levels.

    For New Yorkers, the Asia Society has played a significant role in learning about Asia. Its program of lectures and concerts had a devoted, even cultish following, as did the scholarly exhibitions packed into its two small galleries. .

    Upon Vishakha N. Desai arrival as director, contemporary Asian and Asian-American art was brought fully into the picture in a series of major, globe-leaping exhibitions. A wallflower institution was thinking big.

    "Monks and Merchants: Silk Road Treasures From Northwest China, Fourth Through Seventh Century" is the present show that brought major changes in China - along with Buddhism.

    CHINESE BUSINESSES IN THE U.S.
    Some Chinese firms see the U.S. as a land of opportunity and are buying American businesses and their know-how at a discount.

    Chinese firms have money to spend and an incentive to go abroad because their markets will become crowded after China joins the World Trade Organization and is forced to open its borders to technologically advanced foreign companies.

    Chinese investors are a bright spot in an otherwise bleak U.S. landscape of plant closures and job cutbacks, particularly in the technology arena. The Chinese Enterprise Association, a mainland China business organization established in northern California four years ago, has 54 members, up from 18 in July. "Every seminar we have is packed," she said.

    Lon Hatamiya, secretary of the California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency, said his staff is engaged in confidential talks with several mainland Chinese companies interested in setting up shop in California. Their main focus is food products, manufacturing and environmental technology.

    Konka Group, a leading television maker, and Haier Group, one of China's top appliance manufacturers, are entering the competitive U.S. market to build a global brand awareness. Haier America, which invested $40 million in a factory in South Carolina, is selling its low-cost refrigerators, air conditioners and freezers in stores like Wal-Mart and Office Depot and already has captured 50% of the U.S. market for compact refrigerators.

    The collapse of the technology bubble has created a buyer's market in America, Chinese executives said. Li would not disclose the price of his latest acquisition but said Holley negotiated a "very good deal."

    Ting Zheng, co-founder of LinkAir Communications, a Santa Clara, Calif., firm that has developed a new chip technology for high-speed wireless communications, has raised $33 million from investors in the U.S. and Asia. He said that many mainland Chinese investors are uncomfortable investing in high-risk ventures that promise huge payoffs.

    "There is tons of money available in China, but they are much more conservative, not like venture capitalists," stated Ting Zheng - co-founder of LinkAir Communications.

    CHANGES AT YAHOO!
    Yahoo's Ellen Siminoff, senior vice president of entertainment and small business at Yahoo! Inc. has left the company.

    Yahoo is trimming 400 jobs to save money and condensing 44 business units into six to create a more manageable corporate structure.

    Yahoo Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Terry Semel unveiled a plan that will trim the company's vaunted free services, reduce its work force by 9% and bolster its now-young sales force with a new group of seasoned veterans with 10 to 25 years of experience.

    Ad income will continue to be Yahoo's most important source of revenue, even as the company collects more fees for online services and from e-commerce transactions. Yahoo will be charging fees for services that have traditionally been offered for free, such as online photo storage and personal ads.

    Yahoo will be the elimination of 400 jobs, or about 12% of Yahoo's total work force. Even as it cuts jobs, Yahoo is still looking to hire 100 employees in key positions, for a net loss of 300 positions that represents a 9% work-force reduction.

    A year ago, Yahoo relied on advertising for 90% of its revenue, with service and transaction fees accounting for only 10%. This year, service and transaction fees amount to 24% of revenue, compared with 76% for advertising. During the next three years, the split could move closer to 50-50.

    ASIAWEEK IS SHUTTERED
    Time, Inc. and AOL are shutting down AsiaWeek, along with On and Family Life magazines, as the result an ongoing advertising recession. AsiaWeek one of Asia's two largest English-language news weeklies, will shed 80 jobs. It was founded in 1975 and with a current circulation of about 120,000).

    Asiaweek's main competitor, the Far Eastern Economic Review, recently merged its editorial staff with that of The Asian Wall Street Journal. About one-fourth of the combined staff was cut from the publications, both of which are owned by Dow Jones & Co.

    FLOWER DRUM SONG EXTENDS RUN
    This show, which brings back some of the show's original songs, cuts a couple of others and keeps some standards, including "I Enjoy Being a Girl," "Fan Tan Fanny" and "A Hundred Million Miracles" - while receiving the blessing of the usually traditional New York-based Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, will extend the show's original limited run January 13, 2002 with Jennifer Paz in the lead role.

    BRUCE CHEW CONVICTED
    Bruce A. Chew and David Bernstein (owners of PlayGirl.Com, Crescent Publishing Group and other porn sites) were barred from operating adult entertainment Web sites and agreed to pay $30 million in refunds to settle charges they billed visitors for a supposedly free online peep show.

    Any of the $30 million in refund money not claimed will be divided equally between the U.S. Treasury and the state of New York, in one of the largest settlements involving credit card fraud.

    According to a government complaint against Crescent, visitors who disclosed their credit card numbers as proof they were of legal age to view adult content at Playgirl.com, Highsociety.com and other Crescent Web sites later found their cards billed for recurring monthly charges of up to $90. The billing scam generated $188 million from 1997 to 1999.

    Since the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act took effect in April 2000, many adult sites ask for credit card information to ensure that their customers are of legal age. But some Web site operators then bill visitors without their consent.

    AMERICAN EDUCATION TO CHINA
    Various college programs allows Chinese to get an American education without leaving their homeland.

    The students attend classes taught by American and Chinese professors, use English-language textbooks and fulfill the same academic requirements as their counterparts in the United States, for about the same cost that US students pay.

    Globalization has hit the world of higher education and receiving attention from American academia.

    Two U.S. institutions, CU Denver and a Kansas college, already have set up shop in China to confer bachelor's degrees, among others. Many American universities (i.e. Rutgers, etc.) allow Chinese students to earn master's degrees in such fields as hotel management, law and nursing without leaving their homeland since the Chinese government has relaxed its restrictions.

    About 54,000 Chinese students--the most from any single foreign country-live in the U.S., most of them doing postgraduate work, according to the U.S. government.

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